Posts in Category "Government initiatives"

May 18, 2011

Simplifying Service Transactions and Business Processes

Posted by

As we’ve posted about in the recent past, the Adobe Gov UK team has been holding a monthly webinar series focused on the public sector.

Recent webinars have focused on Delivering and Designing Intuitive Online Services and on ID and Authentication for Online Services.

The latest in this webinar series took place last week, on May 12, and was devoted to Simplifying Service Transactions & Business Processes. The event included a strong panel:

  • Glyn Evans, Socitm President, Corporate Director of Business Change at Birmingham City Council and CIO Council member
  • Peter Bole, Director of ICT at Kent County Council
  • Alan Banks, Managing Director, Adobe UK
  • Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, ITU and UKauthorITy

The group addressed that public services are moving inexorably online, and the UK population is becoming ever more digitally savvy. But how do we take advantage of the best in technology developments to meet the needs of both the organization and the citizens it serves? Efficiency is essential, but is agile development the key? Does new technology solve old problems and deliver joined up processes and services? Or does the public sector silo mentality block the holistic thinking needed for a step change in performance?

An on-demand version of the webinar is now available; you’ll find it here. It runs approx 45 minutes. We hope you’ll check it out.

The next in this series of webinars is scheduled for June 14 and will be focused on Collaborating for the Future – Joined up Thinking and Joined up Working. You can register here.

12:27 AM Permalink
May 9, 2011

“Experience Delivers” Tour: Introducing CEM from Adobe

Posted by

Have you ever researched a product or service at a particular website, and then bought it someplace else? Used a mobile device to compare the price of a product online while shopping in a store? Been influenced by the opinions of others in a social community when selecting a healthcare provider or learning more about ailing symptoms?

That list is just a small sample of behaviors that illustrate how customers are educating themselves beyond the information that traditional organizations are providing, and transforming the consumer lifecycle. When coupled with heightened expectations for personalized service after a commitment is established, this environment presents a unique opportunity. Leading enterprises understand the correlation between creating loyal customers and driving performance.

Conditioned by immersive digital experiences in the private sector, citizens now expect more from interactions with their government in the public sector as well. As a byproduct of powerful user-centric citizen experiences, government agencies have discovered they are also able to realize significant cost savings. For example, by making it easier for citizens to dispute inaccurate medical claims, Medicaid agencies could save millions of dollars annually by helping to reduce fraud.

Adobe’s “Experience Delivers” tour recently stopped in Washington DC where the focus was Customer Experience Management (CEM) in government (see the event video we created above, including our conversations with several of the speakers). Attendees from federal, state, and local agencies learned more about our CEM platform, and ways that it can be leveraged to build “brand” differentiation and improve citizen engagement across multiple channels.

Presenters from Adobe and our featured partners, Deloitte and SapientNitro, shared their perspectives and set the stage for CEM industry luminary speaker Bruce Temkin, Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, who articulated the measurable benefits of an effective CEM solution. Bruce further engaged the audience as he identified the following four competencies required to effectively leverage CEM in the enterprise.

1. Purposeful leadership
2. Compelling brand value
3. Employee engagement
4. Customer connectedness

Preliminary feedback from this event has been overwhelmingly positive. Other US cities in the Experience Delivers Tour include San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. European cities include London, Stockholm, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels.

Here at Adobe, we’re passionate about CEM and very interested in your feedback and general thoughts. Is there an opportunity to improve engagement with your agency’s constituents? Let us know in comments and on Twitter @AdobeGov and @AdobeCEM.

4:00 PM Permalink
April 28, 2011

Adobe Government U.K.: New webinar on Delivering and Designing Intuitive Online Services

Posted by

How can we address digital exclusion and encourage the mass channel shift to low cost online service delivery that we all need?

Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, is calling for ‘e’ Revolution not Evolution with online becoming “the first point of contact” for public services. And the new Government ICT strategy states that the government “will work to make citizen-focused transactional services ‘digital by default’ where appropriate” – but enable a network of ‘assisted digital’ service providers for those who are unable to access this brave new world.

There is, however, much work to do in understanding the user’s needs and experience of online public services with the goal of making them simple and accessible to all.

On the panel:

  • Graham Walker, Government Director for UK Digital Champion (Martha Lane Fox)
  • Dr Lorna Peters, Connect Digitally, Department for Education and Hertfordshire
  • Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions
  • Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, UKauthorITy and ITU magazine

An on demand version of the webcast is available from this link.

12:03 AM Permalink
April 26, 2011

Adobe Government U.K.: New Webinar on ID and Authentication for Online Services

Posted by

Are solving the issues of effective identity and authentication pre-requisites to delivering channel shift to low cost online public services?

The future of public services is most definitely digital: confirmed last month in the Government’s new ICT strategy. Indeed, in the Age of Austerity the potential for reducing the costs of service delivery by a switch to digital is too great to miss – but unless we can securely deliver the right service to the right people we risk even greater waste through fraud and further contact.

The London Borough of Brent has been trialling a new concept – the Mydex citizen data store – along with exploring use of the Government Gateway; Enfield, meanwhile, has implemented a new corporate authentication service with help from Serco and GB Group. The panel explored the benefits and pitfalls of getting ID and authentication right.

On the panel:

  • Dane Wright, IT Strategy Manager at the London Borough of Brent
  • Lee Grafton, Serco and Enfield’s GB Group identity solution
  • Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions
  • Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, UKauthorITy and ITU magazine

An on demand version of the Webcast is available from this link.

12:06 AM Permalink
April 25, 2011

With Liberty and Healthcare for All

Posted by

Chances are you’ve had at least one or two (or twenty) conversations about Health Reform in the past year.  In my experience, regardless of political affiliation, most people find common ground and agree that the traditional US healthcare system has presented multiple opportunities for improvement, to say the least.  Among daunting issues, including inefficiencies and fraud, one of the most recurring challenges highlighted has been the lack of access to affordable health insurance for many citizens.

Deemed by many as “the great compromise,” Health Insurance Exchanges are central mechanisms created by the Health Reform legislation to help individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance – for up to 32 million newly covered members.

Beginning in 2014, a Health Insurance Exchange (HIX), also called Health Benefit Exchange (HBE), will be established in each US state and territory as an online marketplace to help consumers make valid comparisons between plans that are certified to have met benchmarks for quality and affordability.  The states will manage the exchanges; and the plans offered through these exchanges will be provided by commercial payers, competing for all these new customers who don’t qualify for Medicaid.

Recently, I was invited by the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) to their annual policy conference in Washington, DC to speak on the topic “Surveying the State of the Art in Health and Human Services Technology Systems.”   APHSA is a bipartisan organization representing appointed state health and human service agency commissioners from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US territories. Their members probably know better than anyone the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as the states prepare to implement their exchanges throughout the country.

Since Adobe has invested considerable resources in the development of an innovative user-centric solution, I was prepared to share the following top 5 key elements to implementing a successful HIX/HBE as I see it.

1. An engaging, personalized, and secure experience for each of the primary HIX/HBE stakeholders (applicant, state administrator, payer) – regardless of platform or device

2. Ease in handling of eligibility and enrollment in the Exchange as well as premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for benefits and services

3. Agile HIX management to easily adapt content or implement policy changes that affect rules, and analytics to measure effectiveness

4. Seamless interoperability with existing federal (HHS, IRS, DHS) and state-based (Medicaid, CHIP, MMIS, etc) programs and systems

5. Prudent measures to help address fraud and streamline payer workflows, even for atypical cases

The audience was engaged as we wrapped up the session with open discussion after a brief overview of Customer Experience Management as a platform, and the critical role it plays in the evolution of our healthcare ecosystem.

As conversations turn into collaboration and the dialogue on Health Reform continues to advance, so too does the collective innovation that will help to deliver on the promise of improved access to health benefits and services for US citizens.

7:51 PM Permalink
April 15, 2011

Thoughts on Creative Suite 5.5

Posted by

The environment in which creative pros work is changing at an unprecedented pace. We see trends in three areas that are impacting their ability to author and publish content:

1) The proliferation of multiple devices. It used to be quite simple to reach your target constituent. But now there are more devices than ever, with multiple screen sizes, and multiple operating systems. Just to add more complexity — you can reach them via content in a browser, or via a native app. There are over 35 different app stores today, all with different guidelines and specifications. By 2014, the number of mobile devices will be equal to the number of desktop computers. The potential of apps is clear: iOS and Android users download 9 apps per month and spend 79 minutes per day using apps, whereas just four years ago, there was no Google Android, no iPad, no Motorola Xoom, no Blackberry Playbook, no HTML5, no CSS3, no streaming video to smartphones, and no Skype.

2) The second trend we’re seeing is a demand for rich content. Static consumer content or cumbersome enterprise applications just don’t cut it anymore. People are demanding a lot more, whether as a constituent or as an employee. If you think back to 2007 when Adobe released Creative Suite 3, so much has changed since then. In 2007 there was no Groupon, no HD Flip cameras or digital magazines. Twitter had only 400,000 tweets per quarter, and you couldn’t post a photo on your Facebook wall.

3) Monetization. Content publishers have realized as they move content online they can’t rely on old business models. As traditional print advertising moved online they found their dollars reduced to dimes. They have found success experimenting with new business models such as in-app purchases of content, which were pioneered in gaming and are now moving to other industries.

These are the key trends behind a seismic shift in the industry and media landscape. Adobe is committed to enabling our customers to not only keep up with these trends, but to keep ahead of them and capitalize on them. So, we are innovating quickly in these key areas and we will be changing our release schedule in order to keep customers ahead of these trends.

Historically we’ve released new versions of Creative Suite every 18-24 months, but we are moving to a schedule of milestone releases every two years, but with releases in between that are focused on keeping customers ahead in the areas where technology is shifting. In keeping with this, we are improving CS5 with the release of CS 5.5  this spring. Please feel free to click here to find out more about this new software release that will help our customers create rich internet applications for multiple devices, and efficiently target their content across browsers, operating systems, and screens.

5:21 PM Permalink
January 28, 2011

As I sit watching the snow I’m reminded……..

Posted by

Over the past few years, I’ve been privileged with numerous opportunities to share my thoughts on the topic of Telework. And way back when, it seemed that the supporters of Telework for government were few and far between. Of course, there were the trail blazers, (I recall speaking on panels with such thought leaders and executors as Danette Campbell from PTO and Andy Krzmarzick from USDA. It’s been amazing to collaborate with such talent!) but by and large, back then, the idea of allowing, much less encouraging, government employees to work from home with some regularity was really a bit of a stretch.

So, with the snow and ensuing local panic over the past couple days, I’m reminded of the December 2010 signing of the Telework Act and it’s importance. Of course, it’s really easy to recognize that working from home is a benefit on days when there is bad weather, but, let’s not forget about the other benefits; work/life balance for government employees, the impact on green initiatives (less energy, elimination of paper, etc.) and the ability to reduce the cost of government to name a few.

I am just a wee bit proud of the impact that many Adobe technologies have had on enabling this landmark shift. From providing the free software that powers recognizable and trusted user experiences (PDF, Reader, Flash) to the enterprise and desktop solutions that deliver web collaboration (Adobe Connect) and digital document processes (LiveCycle, Acrobat, Creative Suites), Adobe has been helping government streamline communications and reduce the cost of business processes for years. As the promise of Telework comes to fruition, Adobe will continue to seek ways to help government and it’s employees to work better and more efficiently.

Of course, the events of the past couple days here in Washington have shown that there is still a ways to go, but, when compared to where things were just a short couple years ago, its very easy to see that significant, forward progress is being made! Maybe by next winter, there will be enough government employees empowered to work from home that “snow days” will be a thing of the past!

8:04 PM Permalink
November 12, 2010

A Better Approach to Sharing?

Posted by

If you are responsible in any way for sharing information, whether within government or to the public, appropriately classifying information is always a challenge. There’s a full spectrum of possibilities between full, open disclosure and compartmentalized “need to know”. Especially post 9/11, most US agencies have worked hard to establish guidelines and best practices to allow access to the right information to the right people at the right time. To that end, many agencies have created what in the private sector would be called, proprietary classification schemes. Like any proprietary approach, it works very well within a certain scope, but, it breaks down quickly when confronted with a similar, but, alternative approach. The consequences of such a breakdown can vary from something as simple as an embarrassing situation to a life-threatening scenario.

So, as of November 11th, an Executive Order was signed named “Controlled Unclassified Information” (CUI) that is focused on solving this dilemma across the entire federal government. Assigned by the President, NARA will act as the Executive Agent for this Order, driving a process intended to rationalize the various approaches already in place across the agencies.

Standardization, what a good thing! Not only does this Executive Order pave the wave for a common taxonomy that can be explained, understood, used and defended by everyone, it also sets the stage for the ability to apply automation. As digital information has become the norm, replacing paper as the means to create, store and share, the need for better control mechanisms has never been greater. We see evidence of this in the news all the time. Leaks, whether intentional or not, have become more pervasive. However, without a standard approach to classifying information, leveraging technology to help mitigate the risks has been a challenge.

Imagine if you will, the ability to integrate enforceable, digital policies directly into information in a standard fashion that would be recognized government wide. Such policies would give the government the ability to dynamically control who can see information, how long the information is visible, what people can do with it, etc. Wouldn’t it be useful to have policies automatically assigned to documents to minimize the risks of information traveling to the wrong places?

I am quite encouraged to see policy standards such as CUI come about. What are your thoughts?

To learn about technology from Adobe to help, please take a moment and visit this link.

5:14 PM Permalink
November 10, 2010

Digital Signatures Made Easy

Posted by

Perhaps you are aware of the National eID cards that have been issued to the majority of Belgium’s 10 million citizens. With the genesis of the idea going back to 2001, citizen’s have been using their eID cards to help with tax filings, job searches, social services, permits, licenses and other government provided services.

More recently, the Flemish E-Government and ICT-Management Unit launched the digital signature platform of Flanders. Leveraging the existing eID infrastructure, users of the platform now have the ability to easily apply digital signatures to PDF documents. By simply sending an e-mail with a document attached (most common formats are accepted), the platform converts it and returns to the user a ready-to-sign PDF document.

It doesn’t get much easier than that! Yet another great example of eGovernment at work! To find out more, click here.

8:21 PM Permalink
October 18, 2010

Face to Face: An interview with Dr. Peter Levin, Chief Technology Officer at the Dept of Veterans Affairs

Posted by

Shortly after Adobe was named the winner of the Blue Button Developer Challenge at Health 2.0 in San Francisco on October 7, I was granted personal backstage access to Dr. Peter Levin, Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

During our candid discussion, I asked Dr. Levin for his perspectives on the Blue Button initiative and the Developer Challenge, as well as the role of Health Information Technology as it relates to his vision of empowerment for V.A. consumers.

10:07 PM Permalink